The annual Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize ceremony was held on Monday to honor the esteemed English-speaking Olim who have made a notable impact on Israeli society at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, hosted the official ceremony which was attended by the families and friends of the Prize recipients as well Co-Founders of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Tony Gelbart and Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, and prize benefactor, Sylvan Adams, who presented the honorees with their awards.
President of Israel Isaac Herzog said, “As new immigrants, and as families of new immigrants, all of us here feel a profound connection to our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, a connection that we must work to strengthen.
Aliyah does not mean forgetting the past; it does not mean erasing an identity that we have already cultivated, but rather adding another floor to our national home. Each of our laureates did exactly that, continuing to build more and more here. What all of you have in common is your non-stop desire to give, your responsibility toward others, and your dedication to the Land of Israel and its inhabitants.”
Sylvan Adams, a longtime benefactor of the Bonei Zion Prize, spoke about how extremely proud he is of all the Bonei Zion recipients. “These extraordinary men and women symbolize how Anglos are making a significant impact on the State of Israel, as we see from their ongoing contributions in their various fields, as exemplary citizens. As we prepare to celebrate Israel’s Independence, I am especially honored to stand before you in the President’s Residence, as an Israeli citizen, representing my own father who fought in the war of Independence. This is certainly a closure of a personal circle of mine as well.”
“Each year I am humbled by the incredible contributions and dedication of Olim, as they continue to transform the landscape of the Jewish State in every area of expertise,” said Tony Gelbart, Co-Founder and Chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Honoring the extraordinary Bonei Zion recipients at the President’s Residence, on the eve of Israel celebrating its 74th anniversary, demonstrates how our entire nation is proud and appreciative of the remarkable successes these Olim have and are continuing to achieve.”
The 2021 recipients were chosen by a distinguished panel of committee members and represent excellence achieved in a variety of fields, including: Education; Science & Medicine; Community & Non-Profit; Global Impact; Culture, Art & Sports; Lifetime Achievement; and Young Leadership.
In addition, Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, received a special recognition award for his outstanding efforts and unwavering support for the Olim community of Jerusalem.
The 2021 Bonei Zion recipients include:
- Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in the field of Education.
- Dr. Jonathan Rieck, Director of Emergency Medicine at Barzilai Medical Center, in the field of Science & Medicine.
- David Marcu, CEO of Israel Elwyn, in the field of Community & Non-Profit.
- Micha Odenheimer, Founding Director of Tevel B’Tzedek, in the field of Global Impact.
- Josie Katz, Singer and Actress, in the field of Culture, Art & Sports.
- Michal Berman, Founder of Tel Aviv Art studio, for Young Leadership.
- Rabbi Dr. Daniel Tropper, Founder of Gesher, with the Lifetime Achievement Award.